The Best Spots To Check Out At Chicago’s Christkindlmarket

Nutcrackers sold at Hoffmann
Nutcrackers sold at Hoffmann | © Benita Gingerella
April McCallum

The Christkindlmarket is held annually in November and December at the Daley Plaza in Chicago. Based on the Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt, the Chicago Christkindlmarket sells traditional food and gifts from Germany and elsewhere around Europe. Here are some of Culture Trip’s favorite spots to check out when you visit.

Nutcrackers sold at Hoffmann

Hoffmann Company

This shop from Dresden, Germany, sells wood handicrafts that are made in the mountain region of Erzgebirge, Germany. Cuckoo clocks, nutcrackers, nativity scenes, and other Christmas decorations are all hand-carved. The shop also sells incense.

Pretzel Haus

Pretzel Haus

As its name implies, Pretzel Haus from Bad Oeynhausen, Germany, sells pretzels in a variety of flavors. Besides the traditional pretzel, most of Pretzel Haus’s creations have fillings; the pizza pretzel is stuffed with mozzarella and tomato sauce, and the pumpkin pretzel is stuffed with pumpkin pie filling.

Jars of Honey and Candles at Kerosene Studio Poennighaus

Kerosene Studio Poennighaus

Kerosene Studio Poennighaus is originally from Bad Oeynhausen, Germany, and specializes in products made out of honey. The shop sells honey in a variety of flavors, as well as honey candles and honey skincare and beauty products. You’ll also be able to find ceramic holiday houses and other Christmas décor for sale.

Front of German Steins and Souvenirs

German Steins & Souvenirs

German Steins & Souvenirs is originally from Joessnitz, Germany. The owner, Frieder Frotscher, imports his steins and glasses from the Westerwald area of Germany, which is known for making beer steins. The shop also sells traditional souvenirs such as magnets and apparel.

Line for Hot Spiced Wine

Hot Spiced Wine

No trip to the Christkindlmarket would be complete without a mug of hot-spiced wine, or Glühwein, as it’s known in Germany. Each year, the market releases a special edition collector’s mug to serve the Glühwein in. The mugs feature Christmas illustrations and are often in an iconic boot shape.

Figures and Ornaments from Bethlehem Nativity Products

Bethlehem Nativity Products

One of the few stands that is not from Germany, Bethlehem Nativity Products specializes in wooden ornaments and figurines made in Bethlehem. Each ornament and figurine is unique in that each is hand carved by different artisans from wood from olive trees.

Pottery at Polish Handcrafts

Polish Handcrafts – Eva’s Collection

Another vendor that’s not from Germany, Polish Handcrafts – Eva’s Collection is based out of Boleslawiec, Poland. The shop was founded in 2000 and sells handcrafted pottery. The particular set sold at the market, entitled Eva’s Collection, was created by designer Ewa Arreola.

Front of the St. Roger Abbey French Patisserie stand

St. Roger Abbey French Patisserie

If French food your style, make sure to stop by the St. Roger Abbey French Patisserie stand. The Abbey is originally from Chicago, and the nuns at the Abbey bake organic French pastries such as macaroons and croissants. The money from the sale of the pastries goes to supporting the Abbey and helping the poor.

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